Gift cards are a no

Ashwini Manokar, Writer

Whether it is a favorite book from an aunt, video game that a best friend knew would be enjoyed or cookies personally baked, it shows that the gifter spent their time and effort to search for things that is liked by the receiver. Gifts give meaning and leave moments to cherish. However, a gift card sends a slightly different message for the holiday season.

Most people decide on gift cards when they do not know what the other person likes. However, asking the person or someone who knows them, like a parent or friend, what they like or what their interests are shows that they are willing to take the time to get to know them and they truly care about what is being given. When gifting a card with money, it shows the person how much is being spent on them. This is essentially giving a value to them. Junior Leah Tucker said, “I like gifts that have meaning behind them and gift cards usually don’t.” A picture frame with a meaningful picture in it can show that someone cherished the memories they have had together. Gifts can also be more fun and creative than putting money on a card. OHS Magnet’s Pinterest has a Christmas board with many ideas that can be very fun to make for others. Sophomore Cade Woltman said, “Why get a boring card with money when you can get a meaningful gift?”

According to Finder research, over 970 million dollars in gift card money ended up being unused in 2015 alone. Research from CEB towers shows that 65 percent of gift card users will spend 38 percent more than what is on the card. Gift cards are “traps” that retailers use on consumers to bring in new and old customers that most likely spend at least a few dollars over the amount. Time-money says, “Researchers have found that when people are given “play money” like gift cards, they’re more likely to spend it on stuff they don’t need.” It would be better to give a gift that will leave a nice memory, than have them buy something for themselves that will most likely go unused. OHS english teacher, Mr. Daniel Leer said, “When we give a gift card we think it is a benefit for the receiver, but in actuality, it probably benefits the business more.” People are better off gifting something personal that they picked out, then making someone find something for themselves.